With roasted hazelnuts or caramelized pecans, if not with praline, it is customary to approach all the culinary facets of chocolate to praise its benefits. Except that we should not forget the nutritional aspect either to establish the good reasons to consider it as a daily companion.
Chocolate helps fight jetlag
It’s not easy to manage the fatigue generated by a long-haul flight during which you are tempted to rely on the (many) glasses of wine in order to let yourself be carried away by the sandman. Although it is not recommended to drink alcohol at altitude because it disrupts sleep, all is not completely lost since you have the right to bite into your favorite square of chocolate. Apparently, this would help to better cross time zones. This is one of the surprising conclusions reached by the team of scientists with whom the airline Qantas worked ahead of the launch of its ultra-long haul flight between Sydney and New York. An analysis was carried out with several travelers to consider how they could be supported to manage their fatigue during such a long journey.
It’s good for the heart too
Regarding chocolate, the studies follow one another without ever being the same, or almost. Eating a square would thus be beneficial for the heart rate to the extent that it would prevent the heart from beating irregularly. In other words, you would be less likely to be diagnosed with atrial fibrillation – which is potentially fatal, if you consume chocolate in moderation. This finding was published in the journal Heart thanks to research by scientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), in collaboration with researchers from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Aalborg University and the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Denmark. We mainly talk about dark chocolate because it contains a higher cocoa content than milk chocolate. And it is in cocoa that we find flavanoles, substances belonging to the flavonoid family having the capacity to protect us from bacteria, viruses and molds if we are to believe the French dictionary of medicines, the Vidal.
…And it prevents us from getting depressed!
It’s true that this little piece of monstrously generous dark chocolate with crunchy hazelnuts does us good! And it is not so much the texture of the dried fruits but rather the presence of cocoa which has beneficial effects on our morale. In 2020, the American Psychiatric Association supported its positive consequences on mental health by highlighting research from University College London conducted with more than 13,000 American adults. The polyphenols contained in black gold act as a mood booster. We can thus slow down stress thanks to this ingestion, unlike milk chocolate which contains less cocoa, and therefore polyphenols. Last year, the University of Seoul, in South Korea, gave it another go, recommending a daily dose of chocolate containing 85% cocoa to be in good health! These results once again supported the importance of the link between the brain and… the intestine.
NO to diets, YES to WW!
You can even count on it to protect you from the sun
We’ll stop you right away: we don’t recommend slathering yourself in melted dark chocolate instead of sunscreen to prevent sunburn. On the other hand, scientists from the Institute of Science, Technology and Nutrition in Madrid recommended in 2021 to bite into a square in order to stock up on antioxidants as they have the ability to increase blood flow. In this way, the flavanoles contained in cocoa would increase the density of the skin as well as its hydration. Although these revelations may be surprising, researchers have nevertheless been working on this positive aspect of chocolate for many years. Already in 2011, Quebec scientists from the University of Laval launched a vast study aimed at light-skinned women in order to understand the mechanism of polyphenols in the body.